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Abstract

PURPOSE: Many pregnant women suffer from pelvic girdle pain (PGP) during pregnancy. Etiologies are multifactorial and affect the joint stability of the sacroiliac joint. Pelvic belts could restore stability and reduce pain during gait. The center of pressure (COP) is a reliable parameter to assess gait and balance. The objectives of this study were to analyze the COP during gait in pregnant women with PGP, to evaluate the effect of pelvic belts and to compare two types of belts on COP parameters. MATERIALS AND METHODS: 46 pregnant women with PGP, 58 healthy pregnant women and 23 non-pregnant women participated in the study. The motor task consisted of three gait trials at different velocities on an electronic walkway. Two pelvic belts for pregnant women were used. An analysis of variance was performed to determine the effects of the progression of the pregnancy, gait speed, presence of pregnancy and occurrence of pain on the COP parameters. RESULTS: Compared to the control group, pregnant women with PGP had a higher stance time, but COP displacement and velocity were lower. The COP parameters varied between pregnant women with and without pelvic girdle pain, the use of a belt during pregnancy decreased the walking velocity. No difference was found according to the type of belt. CONCLUSIONS: Differences in COP parameters during gait between pregnant women with or without PGP were minimal. Pelvic girdle pain did not affect the center of pres- sure. Wearing a belt during pregnancy modified the center of pressure velocity during gait in pregnant women with PGP.

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